Marriages Should Be Assumed Valid, Says Pope

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Marriages Should Be Assumed Valid, Says Pope

Nullity Must Be Proven He Tells Roman Rota **

ROME, JAN. 29, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Noting the large number of people in “irregular marriage situations,” Benedict XVI is cautioning the members of the Church’s highest marriage tribunal to consider marriages valid until proven the contrary.

The Pope also warned the members of false charity when he gave his annual address to the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.

Truth “cannot be contrary to charity,” he told the court representatives, who deal primarily with appeals in nullity cases.

There must be no yielding to a “false charity,” the Pontiff urged, since this would not protect the true good of the spouses.

“Some believe that pastoral charity might justify any step toward declaring null the marital bond, to meet persons who are in an irregular marital situation,” he acknowledged. However, this makes truth tend to be “seen from an instrumental point of view, which adapts it now and then to the different needs that present themselves.”

“The problem is posed when the very essence of marriage is more or less obscured,” he added, explaining that “the existential, personalist and relational consideration of conjugal union can never be done in defiance of indissolubility, an essential property” of Christian marriage.

Otherwise, Benedict XVI observed, “one runs the grave risk of remaining without an objective point of reference for pronouncements on annulment, transforming every conjugal difficulty into a symptom of non-realization of a union whose essential nucleus of justice – the indissoluble bond – is negated in fact.”

In this connection, the Holy Father exhorted the magistrates, who handle cases of annulment, to the “virtue of fortitude,” which “becomes more relevant when injustice seems to be the easiest way to follow, in as much as it implies granting the desires and expectations of the parties, or also [conforming] to the conditioning of the social environment.”

In particular, he exhorted the members of the tribunal “not only that they focus all their attention on respect for the truth of the proofs,” but also that they “avoid with care taking on, as juridical advisers, the backing of causes that, according to their conscience, are not objectively sustainable.”

Justice, truth and charity

The Pontiff explained to the magistrates and officials of the tribunal, that the “essential nucleus” of their work is the “administration of justice.” And the value of justice, he said, needs to be rediscovered, “also within the Church.”

“Canon law, at times, is underestimated,” the Pope contended, “as if it were a mere technical instrument at the service of any subjective interest, though not founded on truth.”
But, Benedict XVI continued, “this law should always be considered in its essential relation to justice, with the awareness that in the Church juridical activity has as its end the salvation of souls.”

This justice based on truth does not go against charity, the Holy Father explained, but rather: "Charity without justice is not charity, but only a falsification, because charity itself requires that objectivity typical of justice, which must not be confused with inhuman coldness.

"Whoever loves others with charity is above all just to them. Not only is justice not foreign to charity, not only is it not an alternative or parallel way to charity: Justice is ‘inseparable from charity,’ intrinsic to it.

“Without truth, charity ends up in sentimentalism. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled arbitrarily. It is the fatal risk of love in a culture without truth. It falls prey to the emotions and contingent opinions of the individuals, an abused and distorted word, to the point of signifying the contrary.”

Real people

On the other hand, Benedict XVI reflected, “the look and measure of charity will help not to forget that one is always before persons marked by problems and sufferings.”

He argued that “it is important to work actively every time that one perceives a hope of success, to encourage the spouses to eventually confirm the marriage and re-establish conjugal coexistence.”

“It is necessary to avoid the pseudo-pastoral requirements that situate questions on a merely horizontal plane, in which what matters is to satisfy the subjective claims to lead at all cost to the declaration of annulment, in order to be able to surmount, among other things, the obstacles to the reception of the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist,” the Pontiff continued. On the contrary, "the lofty good of readmission to Eucharistic communion after sacramental reconciliation, calls instead to consider the genuine good of the persons, inseparable from the truth of their canonical situation.

“It would be a fictitious good, and a serious lack of justice and love, to smooth the way to the reception of the sacraments, with the danger of making them live in objective contrast to the truth of their own personal condition.”

**Benedict XVI: Marriage is indissoluable

youtube.com/user/vatican#p/a/u/0/Q-4Z30FJmRg
**

This is good news. In my view annulments are given far too easily, particularly in the US which has only 6% of the world’s Catholics but around 80% of all annulments.

It’s good for the Holy Father to reiterate the existing teaching of the Church and the existing state of Church law on the subject,

The statistics you cite do not by themselves support the conclusion that annulments are given too easily inthe U.S. More information is necessary.

You are of course correct. It is necessary to know what lies behind the statistics but at face value it would indicate its too easy in America.
Another statistic to chew on is that of all cases accepted by the American tribunals 89% are granted annulments whereas the Roman Rota affirmative rate is 62%. Again at face value it would indicate its easy in the US.

In my country( Ireland) it is extreemly difficult to get a Church annulment, although I myself got one 20 years ago.
In the past couple of years before the wedding cermony begins the couple to be married have to declare that neither of them know of any reason as to why they they should not be married to each other. Havinging made this declaration therefore it would now be even more difficult to get an annulment, unless something really wrong came up. I am curious to know do couples in America have to make this same declaration?
God Bless :slight_smile:

I honestly think that this needs to be brought up during the marriage preparation classes so that couples will take a more serious look at what they are about to commit to.

I don’t know if it is easier to get an annulment in the United States. Perhaps the lifestyle or values here are more immoral in the US? Just a thought.

Having been trhough the Tribunal’s examination of my x’s petition for nullity about 4 years ago I feel that my experience is relatively recent - this as a preamble to my comments.

I was one of those, rare, few who believed my marriage was sacrimental, and that good cause did not exist to justify the petition. The tribunal in my area (Tyler, TX) did not respond in any way to any questions that I asked, in writing, about the process or the logic used to reach the final decision. It made me feel as my church did not care for me as an individual in the slightest.

If interested, my x’s claim was that she really never did love me and should have never married me, but felt compelled to do so (of her own free will to have children she felt she couldn’t approach another man for - long story).

I did reach a member of the Tribunal on my own, at one point, who said two things of interest to me regarding the general subject here. One, is when asked about the high rate of affirmative decisions (close to 100% best I can find out), the answer was that they pre-screen petitions and only take ones on that appear to have merrit. If this is the case, I postulated, then why have the proceeding since they’ve already pre-judged them. One might argue they have to in order to ‘back up’ their initial brief review, however I see this as a bit self-serving.

The other had to do with my comparision of the facts presented. I contended that they were remarkedly different (the couple is allowed to view each other’s petitions if you request), yet the ‘legal opinion/decision’ stated that they had no reason to doubt the testimony of the petitioner and respondent (the witnesses did not verify any of the claims, only that my x told them certain things - not anything they personally observed). How can both parties be telling the truth but tell two different conflicting stories? The person above agreed that didn’t make sense, yet the Tribunal never formally responded to that or other questions posed in writing.

There was (is) an on-going affair that I believe generated this action - a point my x denied, and to which I proved she had lied - yet the Tribunal did not respond to this either (though again the one person I spoke to admitted that yes, the truth was not told, and that 'these things do not always end up the way they should).

So, it’s merely my opinion, I understand, but - is it too easy to get a decree of nullity? Certainly. Is it easier in America than other countries. I have some limited exposure to that and my opinion is again (though not scientifically supported) that it is easier in the USA and overall way too/very easy.

I do believe any action is only as good (honest, well researched, and ethically considered) as the folks takig the action choose to be, and I’m sure this varies, probably considerably, by venue.

JPII also spoke out against the high rate of annulments saying that divorce was a ‘blight’ upon families, etc. I think both Popes have told us the truth, but we want what we want and the church administration - at least some of it - is more than willing to oblige us.

I love my faith, I love my church (the people), but I sure have a hard time with Church Administration at times.

Good luck and peace, everyone!

=neophyte;6240631]It’s good for the Holy Father to reiterate the existing teaching of the Church and the existing state of Church law on the subject,

The statistics you cite do not by themselves support the conclusion that annulments are given too easily inthe U.S. More information is necessary.

Dear friend in Christ,

I don’t agree with your skeptical view, and am very curious as to what kind of evidence you’d find actually supporting Romes undestanding and decission?

I’m also not sure the picture is an bleak as told? I have heard and read other reports that indidcate that America has in excess of 50% of the WORLDS auunlments. No doubt we have far less than 50% of the WORLDS Catholic Marriages.

Here are a few signs, perhaps NOT evidence, but clearly signs.

Catholics like none Catholics experince in excess of a 50% divorce rate in America.

The second largest christian group is “Fallen away Catholics.”

PEW REPORT 2008

Comparing 1970 and 2008 Catholic Mass attendence.

1970 about 75% attened Sunday an Holyday Mass
2008 about 23% attended Sunday and Holyday Mass

Confession

1970 About 65% went at least once per year.
2008 about 10% went at least once per year

In the past THREE Presidential Races in Excess of 50% of “catholics” voted for the Pro Choice Abortion advocate candidate.

Clearly A GREAT MANY leaders of the CC in America are either not geting Church teaching out; or don’t beleive it themselves? Thus supporting these errant practices.

May God continue to protect, lead and encourage our Holy Father to restore right moral judgement on all of America’s Castholics!

Let us pray!

I received an annulment from the Church about a year after I received a legal annulment from the State of Nevada. The annulment from the State of Nevada was QUICK and easy. However, the process for the annulment by the Church was a very long and exhausting process. It took me months to fill out the paperwork and go through the entire process. I am certainly not complaining about it, as I believe it should be a significant process considering the seriousness of the issue. I was granted my annulment through the Church based on my ex’s mental illness and lack of general understanding of the marriage. We went through pre-Cana and all was well, at least, to my knowledge. It was only later that I found out the my ex never meant to be married to me for life and did not have the ability to make a valid consent. My ex had been civilly married prior to our marriage. This civil marriage had to be annulled by the Church before our civil marriage to one another could be convalidated in the Church. I wonder what percentage of the marriages annulled by the Church are those that were civil marriages or marriages never validated or convalidated in the Church? I would imagine that number would be significantly higher in the US than in other countries.

As far as annulments where two different stories are given and both are considered true…I completely agree with that possibility. There is an old saying that there are at least 2 sides to every story and then there is the truth. It is entirely possible that you genuinely loved your ex and meant every word you said, while believing she genuinely loved you and meant every word that she said. It may also be entirely possible that after time and reflection, she realized that she entered into the marriage for the wrong reasons and did not ever actually intend to keep true to the vows she made. Without a true intentions of the vows, the marriage is truly null.

In any case, it is sad and difficult. I never in a million years would have believed that I would have to go through an annulment. I cry about it at times to this day, even though it has been 2 years since the Church annulment was finalized. The reality of life is, we are all human, and we all make mistakes. Sometimes that’s letting love leave us blind to the reality of a situation.

May God bless you all.

Again, the issue is skewed because it does not take into account the number of cases the US receives which are matters of form (a Catholic is required to be married in front of an offical Church witness - either priest or deacon) and the Rota is most generally not going to hear those cases. The case is a very simple one of paperwork; no official witness (e.g. married by a judge or a Protestant minister) and the decree is given.
Keep in mind the old adage - there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Unless you know what the statistics actually measure, you have no idea what they are about and no way of agreeing or disagreeing with them.

One of the harder things to understand is the issue of intent; another is what is/has/will go on in the mind of your spouse. People make presumptions about themselves, their spouse (or intended) and the church and its role in marriage and in decrees of nullity. And because many people simply do not comprehend the process, there are often times where someone comes out the other end of a tribunal decision not understanding what the grounds really were and what they meant, and often having not the most objective understanding of what went on before and during the marriage.

CARA did a survey of those divorced. What they found was this: 7% of people who had been divorced had received a decree of nullity.

8% who had started the process to receive one did not receive one - either it was denied at the first level or upon review, or it never got to the level of a decision being rendered.

And the biggest statistic: 85% of those divorced never applied.

It is true that in the process of preparing for a tribunal, a number of people are filtered out. However, to address the question by Dave Scott, the tribunals are not granting 100% of the decrees which get to them. Any number of petitions are submitted, and it is apparent that they will not be able to provide sufficient information at that point, and they are withdrawn (usually because it ahs become clear there is not enough evidence); those are not recorded as denials, but the result is the same. And because they are not recorded as final decisions, it skews the results.

Others are filtered out before they are ever submitted. Some perhaps incorrectly, but the individual (and for that matter, the spouse who did not start the process) are still free to approach the tribunal at another time.

Something to keep in mind: after Vatican 2, catechisms were altered radically. The objective was to get away from a rote memorization of doctrine and rules and attempt to develope faith (and it should be noted that memorization of rules and doctrines is not faith - an atheist can memorize the same things). However, in the move away, a tremendous amount was lost; people were not taught about the faith from a content standpoint. I would have no doubt that many people in the last two generations had no clue that the Church held that the sacrament of marriage was a permanent committment - they didn’t even know what a sacrament really was. They became cultural Catholics. And they were looking at their parents divorcing. Society went hog-wild once no-fault divorce was started as the law of the vaious states. Kids grew up in divorced, or divorced and remarried families; they in turn did what they were taught- if things didn’t work out, you got a divorce, just like mom and dad did. And we are now at the third generation, which is showing marked signs of reluctance to marry until late - I think the average age has crept up to something like 27. And instead they live together; and by the time they get married, they may have had multiple live-in arrangements, not to mention other temporary sexual partners.

And from that, we expect a few nights and maybe a weekend retreat to get this couple to understand what the sacrament of marriage is about?

And if they have not had other sexual partners (and the statistics on that one are not at all comforting), they are surrounded by peers, parents and parents peers, and grandparents and grandparent peers who either have had or currently have partners outside of marriage, or second, third and more marriages.

Yes, there may be tribunals still who are not following the law as it is written, but instead are being “pastoral”; however, JP2 started the process and hit this issue at least twice, and the word was that things were tightening down, and tribunals were doing what they were supposed to do.

It is my impression that most people simply have little or no grasp on what the status is, what the facts are, and they get a window of information, often defined by the prejudices of those giving that information. I am not sure what the Pope is getting as to the real status “on the ground”.

And that is not to say that I think that all divorces are ones that should result in a decree of nullity; just that if 85% have not even bothered, it only makes statistical sense that a whole lot more cases are out there to be decided.

The proper question is not whether annulments are too easy, but rather whether there is injustice if they are too difficult to obtain. If an annulment is denied after every reasonable effort has been made to maintain the bond, the parties may well leave the church in order to remarry. There may be valid reasons for annulment but they cannot be proven. These cases require good judgment. Scripture says there are those who can live a celibate life and those who cannot, so they marry. Forcing people into a celibate life because they cannot prove their annulment case is a harsh way of dealing with people. Most likely they will marry again outside of the church, or find a Catholic church where they are strangers to the congregation even though they have remarried outside of the church. Of course an annulment should not be granted if there are no valid grounds for it. but denying one because it is thought to be too easy is a mistake.

=goznes;The proper question is not whether annulments are too easy, but rather whether there is injustice if they are too difficult to obtain. If an annulment is denied after every reasonable effort has been made to maintain the bond, the parties may well leave the church in order to remarry. There may be valid reasons for annulment but they cannot be proven. These cases require good judgment. Scripture says there are those who can live a celibate life and those who cannot, so they marry. Forcing people into a celibate life because they cannot prove their annulment case is a harsh way of dealing with people. Most likely they will marry again outside of the church, or find a Catholic church where they are strangers to the congregation even though they have remarried outside of the church. Of course an annulment should not be granted if there are no valid grounds for it. but denying one because it is thought to be too easy is a mistake.

***Dear friend in Christ,

I disagree completely with your premis on the following grounds.

Not only should annulments be difficult to atain; they MUST BE extremely difficult to attain in order to PROTECT the very Sanctity of the Marriage Sacrament. A Sacrament under attack on mutiple fronts of a Secular Humanist Socierty, now in existence in America.

This is not a place for subjective thought and feelings, rather Objective critical criteria need be applied and while the Church needs to be sensitive to the applicants needs, She possesses a GRAVE Moral obligation not to confuse, not to mix, “needs” and “want or desire.” Those passing judgment too must answer to a Almighty and impartialy JUST God.

Not evrything one wants, and desires is for our actual GOOD. ***

The outlandish percent of granted Annulments granted to America, is indeed far in excess of what VERY LIKELY confoms to Universal Norms and reasonable compliance.

It is precisely because Rome understands this obvious out of balance expectation of Her Grave Moral Obligation to Protect the Catholic Faith, by receenlty placing a “new” Prefect of the ***Supreme Tribunal of the Apolostolic Signatura," [The Church’s Highest Court] ***, ***His Excellancy Archbishop Emerits of Saint Louis, Raymond L. Burke *** in order to stem what Rome clearly sees as excessive and weakly applied Law.

We can be assured that no effort exist to unjustly deny Anulments when they prove to actualy be warranted. But they must BE PROVEN to be JUSTIFIED, not simply desired.

Love and prayers,

Pat

That goes without saying. And as God is a just God, so the Church must seek to do His justice; and that means that if factually a marriage was not a sacrament, then the Church has a duty, in justice, to so declare.

[/quote]

That also goes without saying.

Unless you have spoken with the persons responsible for his appointment, it is presumptious to assume that the activity of the tribunals re: marriage was the reason he was appointed. He was widely acknowledged to be one of the better, if not best Canon lawyers. Last time I looked, Canon law covered a multiple of issues, including what to do within the confines of Canon law with priests who were sexual abusers. And that is to note only two issues of many that the Supreme Tribunal might have to actually deal with. The system is set up now that extremely few cases concerning marriage ever make their way to the Supreme Tribunal; and I have heard nothing of either changes to proceedure or any means that he would be reviewing any cases unless they were appealed that far.

=otjm;6251035]Truth is truth, whether one likes it or not. The implication in you post - and I am sure you do not mean it - is that the appearance of the sacrament is so important that the truth - that there was no sacrament confected - should not be able to come to the surface except rarely.

***Not appearance but the Solmen Sanctity of the sacrament MUST be preserverd an protected,. ***

Matt.5: 31 "It was also said, `Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ [OT times] 32 [Jesus speaking] ‘But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her an adulteress; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.’ "

It is one thing to wish, want and desire that a decree of nullity never be granted because all marriages are sacraments. The truth, however, is that there are a number of reasons - all of them listed in Canon law - which prevent the ceremony of marriage from actually being a sacrament. In a perfect world, both parties to a marriage would have no impediments. Last I checked, the world is not perfect, and will not be so until the Second Coming.

*** I have read the Canons. If they are being stricly applied, I have NO ISSUE wih any quanity granted.***

** Can. 1055 §1** The marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of their whole life, and which of its own very nature is ordered to the well-being of the spouses and to the procreation and upbringing of children, has, between the baptised, been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.

§2 Consequently, a valid marriage contract cannot exist between baptised persons without its being by that very fact a sacrament.

**Can. 1056 The essential properties of marriage are unity and indissolubility; in christian marriage they acquire a distinctive firmness by reason of the sacrament.
**
Can. 1057 §1
A marriage is brought into being by the lawfully manifested consent of persons who are legally capable. This consent cannot be supplied by any human power.

**§2 **Matrimonial consent is an act of will by which a man and a woman by an irrevocable covenant mutually give and accept one another for the purpose of establishing a marriage.

Can. 1141 A marriage which is ratified and consummated cannot be dissolved by any human power or by any cause other than death.

I thought I made my position clear; perhaps not?

***I am not opposed to annulments that meet the STRICT interpetiation of Chuch law. I am strongly opposed to making the proscess easy, simple, or fast.

Marriage in the CC requires so far as I know participation in a “Pre-Cana” program, which ought to give pause to serious reflection before the exchange of vows. Catholics ought well know and understand that this is a life-long commitment that they are agreeing to.

The Church has a GRAVE responsibilty to insure that to the extent possible, the committment is kept, not granted for othr than the GRAVE issues articulated and permitted by Curch Law. That is my position, my statement.

It ought not be made easier. Already I am told that half of all Catholic Marriages end in Divorce. It is inconceovable, impossible, that all of those, or even a great many of those, actually fall into the impediments that qualify to set a marraige “asside.”

Why has this trend ONLY happend post Vatican II?

My position depends not soley on percentages; but one who ignores that HALF of the WORLDS annulments are granted to Americans, as a reasonable and prudent statistic, is wearing “rose colored glasses.”***

Unless you have spoken with the persons responsible for his appointment, it is presumptious to assume that the activity of the tribunals re: marriage was the reason he was appointed.

***Actually I am a “Certified Member of the Marian Catechesit Apostolate” of which his Excellency is now International Director."

I have followed the news comming out of Rome for many years, and have read [no. sorry I don’t keep all the news copies I read] about Romes concern on this issue for some time. And yes, I did read in more than one report that His Appointment was at least in part to addres Romes condern on this specific issue.*

And the presumption you seem to be making, with no evidence to show the basis of the presumption, is that many, or a majority of cases are being decided in favor of a decree of nullity without sufficient evidence to support them. If you have such evidence, please present it; otherwise it would seem your presumptions are unwarranted.

Love and prayers,

Pat

And I would not say otherwise.

I do not know what you mean by “strictly”. If you mean “beyond a reasonable doubt”, that is not the level to which the proof is necessary. I would say, rather than using the word “strictly” that the word “correctly” be used; that the tribunal must find that the proof meets the level required by the law. Thus, if the proof meets the level necessary, the decree will be granted; if it fails to meet that level, the tribunal will not provide a decree based on “pretty close” or, “it would be a terrible situation if we didn’t”, or “pastorally, we find…”.

I

See further.

[quote=PJM;6251944***I am not opposed to annulments that meet the STRICT interpetiation of Chuch law. I am strongly opposed to making the proscess easy, simple, or fast…/QUOTE]Again, the word “strict” which is too open to too many interpretations. If you mean that the tribunal needs to follow the law, and the finding of facts needs to be stubstantiated by the facts, and that the level of proof is met, then we agree. However, “Strict” may also be that you would hold the tribunal to a higher level of proof than the Chruch does.

[quote=PJM;6251944Marriage in the CC requires so far as I know participation in a “Pre-Cana” program, which ought to give pause to serious reflection before the exchange of vows. Catholics ought well know and understand that this is a life-long commitment that they are agreeing to.
[/QUOTE]Catholics also ought not ever commit a mortal sin. Life is full of “oughts”. The reality is that we have a whole lot of Catholics from the ages of about 45 down, who know precious little of their faith. Attendance at regular Mass is about 22% for those 31 - 45; and it drops to 21% for 18 to 30. The “ought” to be going to Mass on a weekly basis, too. and for those who actually do, a significan proportion know little about any of the sacraments, doctrines of the Church, and seem to think that the 10 Commandments are the 10 Suggestions; especilly anything to do with sexual morality. And the Church does not look at whether a sacrament was confected on the wedding day by what they “ought” to know, but by what they did knwo, and what their intent was. Divorce is so prevalent in the Catholic population as well as the general population, that for many it is almost a given that if “things don’t work out” that is what they will do. And that goes directly to the intention of permanence.

That is the reality. It “ought” to be different. But it isn’t.

[/quote]

*Three major things ocured around or after Vatican 2: 1) No fault divorce became the law, which lead to an explosion of divorces; these in turn resulted in the significant breaking down of the family (i.e., modleing what your parents taught you by their actions); 2) the Pill accelerated the breakdown of sexual morality; and 3) catechesis went into the toilet, and someone flushed. When you ahve a couple start the pre Cana conferences, and they ahve been and are living together, and have had multiple sexual experiences oustside that relationship, and you tell them that they should not be living together, it is all too often that this is the first time they can recall ever being told that. In addition, their peers, relatives, parents and grandparents are all either divorced or related to someone within 2 levels who are divorced. They are on the Pill and/or are using other means of contraception and see absolutely no reason to not be on it, and feel it is not the Church’s business. They have either had an abortion or know a number of friends who have had one, and they don’t agree with the Chuirch’s position on it.

[quote=PJM;6251944My position depends not soley on percentages; but one who ignores that HALF of the WORLDS annulments are granted to Americans, as a reasonable and prudent statistic, is wearing “rose colored glasses.”*
[/quote]

and you are ignoring, or oblivious to the reasons for the difference.

A goodly portion of what is supposedly Catholic Europe doesn’t even bother - whey should they when only 15% to maybe 5% of them go to Mass regularly? They simply don’t care. When a significant figure is buried from the Church, and his spouse and his mistress are both at the funeral, maybe there is a clue.

[quote=PJM;6251944Unless you have spoken with the persons responsible for his appointment, it is presumptious to assume that the activity of the tribunals re: marriage was the reason he was appointed.
]Actually I am a “Certified Member of the Marian Catechesit Apostolate” of which his Excellency is now International Director."
[/quote]

that is nice, but is non-responsive. Unless you have spoken with the ones involved with his appointment (as opposed to those who favor it), you have not done any due diligence.

[quote=PJM;6251944I have followed the news comming out of Rome for many years, and have read [no. sorry I don’t keep all the news copies I read] about Romes concern on this issue for some time. And yes, I did read in more than one report that His Appointment was at least in part
[/quote]

to addres Romes condern on this specific issue.So have I; and I also haVe spoken with people who are currently working on tribunals. The effort has been made since JP2 started to tighten things down, to do things correctly.

If what you want is the law applied correctly, so do I.

I also want Catholics to return to the faith (and I am doing something about it.)
[/quote]

I’d say that at face value all it indicates is that the US has 6% of the world’s Catholics and 80% of the annulments. You think it means that it’s too easy to get annulments in the U.S, but it could just as well mean that it’s too difficult to get them elsewhere. Or that folks in the U.S are more prone to impediments.

The two populations aren’t the same, so again more data is needed.

The fallacy behind this kind of analysis is that each individual case stands on its own merit.

I haven’t got the slightest idea what it is you’re talking about.

=otjm;6252265]And I would not say otherwise.

I do not know what you mean by “strictly”. If you mean “beyond a reasonable doubt”, that is not the level to which the proof is necessary. I would say, rather than using the word “strictly” that the word “correctly” be used; that the tribunal must find that the proof meets the level required by the law. Thus, if the proof meets the level necessary, the decree will be granted; if it fails to meet that level, the tribunal will not provide a decree based on “pretty close” or, “it would be a terrible situation if we didn’t”, or “pastorally, we find…”.

I

See further.

[quote=PJM;6251944***I am not opposed to annulments that meet the STRICT interpetiation of Chuch law. I am strongly opposed to making the proscess easy, simple, or fast…/QUOTE]Again, the word “strict” which is too open to too many interpretations. If you mean that the tribunal needs to follow the law, and the finding of facts needs to be stubstantiated by the facts, and that the level of proof is met, then we agree. However, “Strict” may also be that you would hold the tribunal to a higher level of proof than the Chruch does.

Catholics also ought not ever commit a mortal sin. Life is full of “oughts”. The reality is that we have a whole lot of Catholics from the ages of about 45 down, who know precious little of their faith. Attendance at regular Mass is about 22% for those 31 - 45; and it drops to 21% for 18 to 30. The “ought” to be going to Mass on a weekly basis, too. and for those who actually do, a significan proportion know little about any of the sacraments, doctrines of the Church, and seem to think that the 10 Commandments are the 10 Suggestions; especilly anything to do with sexual morality. And the Church does not look at whether a sacrament was confected on the wedding day by what they “ought” to know, but by what they did knwo, and what their intent was. Divorce is so prevalent in the Catholic population as well as the general population, that for many it is almost a given that if “things don’t work out” that is what they will do. And that goes directly to the intention of permanence.

That is the reality. It “ought” to be different. But it isn’t.

Three major things ocured around or after Vatican 2: 1) No fault divorce became the law, which lead to an explosion of divorces; these in turn resulted in the significant breaking down of the family (i.e., modleing what your parents taught you by their actions); 2) the Pill accelerated the breakdown of sexual morality; and 3) catechesis went into the toilet, and someone flushed. When you ahve a couple start the pre Cana conferences, and they ahve been and are living together, and have had multiple sexual experiences oustside that relationship, and you tell them that they should not be living together, it is all too often that this is the first time they can recall ever being told that. In addition, their peers, relatives, parents and grandparents are all either divorced or related to someone within 2 levels who are divorced. They are on the Pill and/or are using other means of contraception and see absolutely no reason to not be on it, and feel it is not the Church’s business. They have either had an abortion or know a number of friends who have had one, and they don’t agree with the Chuirch’s position on it.

and you are ignoring, or oblivious to the reasons for the difference.

A goodly portion of what is supposedly Catholic Europe doesn’t even bother - whey should they when only 15% to maybe 5% of them go to Mass regularly? They simply don’t care. When a significant figure is buried from the Church, and his spouse and his mistress are both at the funeral, maybe there is a clue.

that is nice, but is non-responsive. Unless you have spoken with the ones involved with his appointment (as opposed to those who favor it), you have not done any due diligence.

So have I; and I also haVe spoken with people who are currently working on tribunals. The effort has been made since JP2 started to tighten things down, to do things correctly.

If what you want is the law applied correctly, so do I.

I also want Catholics to return to the faith (and I am doing something about it.)*

Glad to hear your doing something about it! Enjoyed our discussion. In the end it would seem we seek the same goal? Chuch Law applied fully and justly.

Your comment on Europes Church attendence is sacry; so is ours. 25% And dropping:o

THANKS,

Love and prayers
Pat
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